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According to UCAMAN:
The "star" of the producers from Castilla - La Mancha (Spain) is the Piel de Sapo melon

Mr. Juan Martínez responsible for fruits, vegetables and livestock from the Unión de Cooperativas Agrícolas de Castilla-La Mancha - UCAMAN gives some information on the melon production at this well-known Spanish region

"The most important and star variety is the so-called "Piel de Sapo", included among the green varieties from Spain. This variety has between 2 to 3 kgs and has a slightly rough peel. Pulp is white-cream, compact, crunchy, juicy and has a sweetness between 12 - 15 brix

Other varieties of melons (watermelons) as "rallada" and "negra" are also cultivated but there are only 1000 hectares in the whole region.

The 35% of Spanish production is concentrated in Castilla - La Mancha. Followed by Murcia, Andalusia, Extremadura and Madrid. In Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real reports approximately 10.000 hectares and 300.000 tons, meanwhile Toledo reports approximately 1.500 hectares.

Castilla-La Mancha and thus Ciudad Real, representing 80% of the total at the region is the domestic reference for the green melon from Spain.

The agents who intervene in the marketing of melon in Ciudad Real are represented by trading companies (68%), intermediaries-brokers (22%) and sporadic sellers (10%).

Cooperatives are prevalecent in the region (a quarter of the total) and the amount of exports from them reach 20% of their total production. Main destinations are Portugal, UK, France, Germany, Belgium among others.

Among the main cooperatives (per volume) could be highlighted: Cooperativa Santiago Apostol y la SAT Hortiman from Tomelloso; cooperativa Peñarroya de Argamasilla from Alba; cooperativa San Lorenzo de Alameda from Cervera; cooperativa Llanos from Llanos, and finally cooperativa Ceresco.

Trading period for melons from La Mancha are too short as declared by Mr. Martinez, "starting in July and finishing in September, sometimes until October. Therefore, it is highly recommendable to have a regulation which programs the campaign and avoids oversupply with the subsequent decreasing of prices. This is a circumstance tha can affect strongly to producers. Firms are involved in a continuous improvement to avoid these problems including technology and planning".

Juan Martínez Bravo
Frutas y Hortalizas
Unión de Cooperativas Agrarias de Castilla-La Mancha (UCAMAN)
Tel: +33 925 21 09 21
Fax: +33 925 21 09 16

Publication date: 3/26/2008
Author: Jahir Lombana


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